Research Article

Systems and Synthetic Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 79-86

First online:

Design-driven, multi-use research agendas to enable applied synthetic biology for global health

  • James M. CarothersAffiliated withMolecular Engineering and Sciences Institute, University of Washington Email author 

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Many of the synthetic biological devices, pathways and systems that can be engineered are multi-use, in the sense that they could be used both for commercially-important applications and to help meet global health needs. The on-going development of models and simulation tools for assembling component parts into functionally-complex devices and systems will enable successful engineering with much less trial-and-error experimentation and laboratory infrastructure. As illustrations, I draw upon recent examples from my own work and the broader Keasling research group at the University of California Berkeley and the Joint BioEnergy Institute, of which I was formerly a part. By combining multi-use synthetic biology research agendas with advanced computer-aided design tool creation, it may be possible to more rapidly engineer safe and effective synthetic biology technologies that help address a wide range of global health problems.


Model-driven design and engineering Computer-aided design